Leaving Lucy Pear by Anna Solomon

Leaving Lucy Pear by Anna Solomon

Leaving Lucy Pear is the tale of two mothers, one who was impelled to leave her infant to be raised by strangers, and the woman who raises the child.

Lucy Pear, so named by her adoptive family after they discovered her in the pear orchard where she was left, is raised by Emma Murphy, who is raising eight other children, with her largely absent, volatile husband.  The Murphy’s are poor, scraping by to make ends meet with seasonal pear thieving. Lucy’s birth mother, Beatrice, was born into a wealthy Jewish family in Boston, and giving up her child, as an unwed 18 year old bound for Radcliffe College, drastically derails her emotionally. The lives of the two women and their families become intertwined through a series of events. Set in Cape Ann, Mass. during the 1920’s, Solomon’s writing deftly evokes the political tension of the era, and the dichotomy of the lives of the two women—one Irish, one Jewish, one with means, one without, one childless, one raising many. The story touches on Prohibition and the impact of the Sacco and Vanzetti case on the characters and the community, and the challenges faced by women in that era. An engaging, bittersweet story that kept me interested and wishing for good outcomes for the characters. 

 

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